James Bond is a man of the world, with enough passport stamps to make traveller envious. With Spectre set to start rolling out into cinemas around the world over the next few weeks, Hostleworld are celebrating with a look back on some of the exquisite locals featured across the last few films that you’re able to visit.
Grandhotel Pupp, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, aka the Hotel Splendide
The exterior of the Hotel Splendide is actually the Grandhotel Pupp, which isn’t actually in Montenegro, but actually the town of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. This hotel has been in operation since 1711 and has been used as a filming location for many other films including La Vie en Rose with Marion Cotillard and Shanghai Knights with Jackie Chan.
Albany House, New Providence Island, Bahamas aka Alex Dimitrios’s Mansion
After a high speed chase through Miami airport, Bond travels to the Bahamas to track down Alex Dimitrios, an associate of Le Chiffre, and ends up seducing his bored wife in the process. Dimitrios’ Mansion, and the beach outside were filmed at Albany House, a luxury resort part owned by Tiger Woods that lies on the southwest coast of New Providence.
Villa del Balbianello, Lake Como, Italy
After being brutally tortured by Le Chiffre, Bond recuperates in the gardens of Villa del Balbianello, a villa built in 1787 on the site of a monastery for a Cardinal. The villa now belongs to the National Trust of Italy and can be visited by the public.
Palazzo Michael, Venice, Italy
Towards the end of the film Bond tracks Vesper to a building undergoing renovations in Venice and in the aftermath of the gunfight that follows, the inflatable building supports are punctured, leading to the collapse of the whole building into the surrounding water.
The Palazzo Michael, in Venice, situated near the famous Rialto Bridge, was used as the exterior for this building. No buildings were harmed in the making of the film – the scene was filmed in Pinewood Studios, leaving the Palazzo Michael entirely intact.
QUANTAM OF SOLACE
North-western shore of Lake Garda & City of Siena, Italy
The film opens with a car chase as Bond is pursued by agents of Quantum northwards along the eastern shore of Lake Garda, passing through the town of Malcesine, along Via Gardesana and Navene.
After losing the agents we cut to Bond driving into Siena where the audience sees the famous bareback horserace, the Palio de Siena, which takes place twice a year (2nd July and 16th August) outside the Piazza del Campo in Siena.
Andean Grand Hotel, La Paz, Bolivia aka Instituto Nacional de Cultura, Panama City, Panama
Bond travels to Bolivia where a General is plotting to overthrow the current government but interestingly no actual footage of Bolivia was used; filming took place in either Panama or Chile. After dismissing the initial accommodation arrangements Bond checks into the Andean Grand Hotel. The hotel doesn’t exist in real life – but you can visit the National Institute of Culture in Panama City, which was transformed into the hotel for the film.
Atacama Desert, Chile
Bond crash lands in the desert that the General has traded with Quantum in exchange for his help to eradicate the Bolivian Government. Here he learns that Quantum is planning on monopolizing the water supply. Although the audience is lead to believe this is still Bolivia the filming took place in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Atacama is the driest non-Polar place on earth, with some parts receiving no rainfall for up to four years. Despite this, there are some salt lakes scattered across the desert and occasional rainfall results in a spectacular display of flowering cacti.
Dominic Greene’s Desert Bolthole aka The Paranal Observatory, Antofagasta, Chile
The finale of the film which sees Bond catching up with Dominic Greene and General Medrano, takes place in an eco-hotel in the middle of the desert. This building is the Paranal, one of three observatories of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert. Guided tours of the facility are available, but booking well in advance is recommended.
Skyfall opens with Bond chasing an agent who has stolen a hard drive through Istanbul. The action moves through Eminonu Square, near Galata Bridge, and then into the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest markets of the world.
MI6 Headquarters, London
Following her meeting with Malone, M is driven back to MI6 headquarters, only to see its roof dramatically burst into flames. Although entry to the public is not permitted, the facade of the building can be seen best by heading to Pimlico tube station, and walking southeast across Vauxhall Bridge, just as M does!
10 Trinity Square, London
After the hard drive is stolen, M is summoned to meet Gareth Malone at 10 Trinity Square, a Grade II listed building that was formerly the offices of insurance company Willis Faber, near Tower Hill, London. The building is currently being converted into a 5* hotel, private residence and members club.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London
Whilst looking at a painting of “a bloody big ship” Bond is approached by his new Quartermaster, Q. These scenes were shot in Room 34 of London’s National Gallery, which is where the painting (The Fighting Temeraire by JMW Turner) hangs. A must-see for any trip to London, it’s free to enter the National Gallery where several world famous works of art hang.
Hashima Island, Japan
In the film, the audience never finds out the name of the mysterious island acquired by Silva after he sparks mass panic, causing workers to flee. The filming of the island scene took place at Pinewood Studios, but the long-shots of the island are real. Hashima – also commonly called Gunkanjima, meaning Battleship Island – is off the west coast of Japan and was a coal-mining community owned and operated by Mitsubishi. Gradually, coal-mining declined, and workers moved away. The island was most recently declared a UNESCO world heritage site and you can catch boat tours from Nagasaki Port to see it.
Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag, Glencoe, Scotland
Bond and M flee from Silva and drive towards Scotland, where they encounter some breathtaking highland scenery. The two peaks of Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag are located in the west highlands, around 80 miles north of Glasgow and have also appear in Highlander and Braveheart.
Spectre is already in cinemas in the UK, and hits cinemas in the USA on November 6th and in Australia on November 12th.